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Hey friends, David Burkus here. Welcome back to “The DailyBurk.” And today I just wanna talk briefly about some new research
that I find fascinating, dealing with work experience and whether or not you’re
making the right hire. A new study, a meta-analysis, it’s a fancy word for a
combination of different studies all sort of put together and
run as one big sample size, new meta-analysis, 81 different studies comprising over 20,000 applications, prospective hires, et cetera, found that the correlation
between job experience and performance on the job judged by number of sales
and performance evaluations or a variety of different ways, it is a meta-analysis after all, the correlation is basically zilch. I know, right? And yet, we’re seeing this trend where more and more
organizations are asking for, even at the entry-level position, are asking for two to
three years experience, at least it might say preferred, they might even say required. This creates this catch-22
that I saw all of the time when I was working with
undergraduates in business school, how do you get a job with no experience? When everybody wants experience how do you get that first job? And the truth is what this study suggests is it doesn’t matter. It’s well past time that we stop looking at number of years of experience. I mean, the other reason, and I have ranted about this before, is that just because you say you have three years of
experience in the job you may not have three
years worth of experiences. You might just have one year of experience repeated three times. So what should we do instead? We should be looking for
knowledge, skills, abilities, we should be looking for strengths and weaknesses that fit the job. And sometimes people demonstrate those through prior work experience and we ought to give credit there but other times they demonstrate those knowledge, skills, and abilities through non-work related capacities. You might even say, oh, hey, does this mean I should switch from a chronological
to a functional resume? Maybe, my point is that we should skip from a chronological to
a functional mentality. Is this person the right
fit for our organization? Are their knowledge, skills, and abilities the right fit for the job at hand? And if so, then it doesn’t really matter how many years of experience they have because we know there’s
not any correlation. Now, if you’re on the job seeker side, what is the lesson here? I mean, it’s hard to
advocate for anything other than go ahead and apply for that job. It says it wants three
to five years experience and you have two and a half, apply for it, because in the end it
doesn’t really matter anyway. If you have zero experience and it says it wants one
to two years experience, apply for it anyway and then be prepared to make the case for why you can demonstrate
the requirements of the job even if you don’t have that
number of years experience. There is no correlation between how many years you’ve had on the job and the knowledge, skills, and abilities you acquired while you were there. It’s time for both of us, job seekers and job interviewers, to be looking at the knowledge,
skills, and abilities, not just the number. Thanks again so much for watching this episode
of “The DailyBurk.” Leave a comment below, have you ever been disqualified for a job through years of experience? Or even better, have you ever gotten a job despite the fact that you didn’t have the number of years experience? I bet it’s because your
interviewer was savvy enough to know to look for knowledge,
skills, and abilities, not numbers of years. Tell us that story in the comments below. I’ll also be posting a link to the study in the comments below so you can see that. While you’re there, make
sure you’re followed or subscribed to the show on whatever platform
you’re watching this on because we’re posting new
episodes every single weekday. They’re designed to help
you do your best work ever, no matter how many years
of experience you have, and I wanna make sure you
don’t miss a single one. Thanks again so much for
watching “The DailyBurk.”


  1. I am a happy veteran worker with updated skills and office culture values – and yes I see this principle validated every day.

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